This was 13 years, 7 months, 18 days ago

Moscow was large, and bustling, and New York-like, and unbearably hot.

Moscow was unbearably hot. All I can remember is the sensation of a
full droplet of sweat rolling down the hollow of my back; that
sensation, in the metro, crossing the Red Square, looking at that
famed St. Basil's Cathedral, waiting in line to see an embalmed Lenin,
walking in the Kremlin, stopping in front of the Bolshoi theatre,
walking along the rivers, going into the Metro, looking at the ornate
arches and decorations of each and every stop -- and amidst all of
this, that sensation. The sweat, the heat, the hotness.

That was this unifier, however, everybody sitting down, standing,
eating ice cream, drinking water, flapping their shirts soaked with
sweat, cringing in the sun, sunglasses down as a default. Just earlier
I boarded the train to Irkutsk, and the AC wasn't on while it was in
the station, so I sat there with my compartment-mates, sweating it
out, everyone panting in a daze, too short for words to really greet
each other, and this situation itself mutually acknowledged. Just sit,
pant, sweat, in silence.

In Moscow one night I joined up with some buddies I had first met in
St. Petersburg, and we sat in a car for a second, then had dinner,
walked around to this beautiful ornate decorated supermarket, bought a
matroshka-shaped bottle of vodka, sent A to the airport. V's mother
picked us up afterwards, and we drove back to the hostel, some haze of
a song playing in the background, just ambient enough, and I, content,
watched night-Moscow slide by, all lights and dim infrastructure.

The next day, I went to this area, which was full of small galleries,
graffiti on walls, up-and-coming, a little raw. (Much better than the
Garage, which was a little too slick -- or rather, the issue was that
they were wasting away their space on nothing, clean vinyl, white
walls, paintings on walls, whereas there could be so much more
interesting things going on: site-specific performances,
installations, theater-in-the-round, and so on. Installations
celebrating the size of the space, not operating in spite of it.
Paintings swinging, suspended in air by steel wires from the ceiling
fifty feet above. But instead there was an armed guard with a
semi-automatic at the entrance(!), and a small white-walled-gallery
constructed inside the entire space to showcase a myriad of Rothko
pieces, and I left feeling a little bothered, a little itchy from the
space and potential being yet untouched.) The new space that I saw
unstead was called Winzavod, or Vinzavod, and it was young and new and
growing.... falling asleep..

am on the train.
am sharing a compartment with a russian family: sasha, the father,
tanya, the mother, vanya, the son, and vanya, maybe the sister.

will write later.